All about your operation

Mastectomies are a surgical procedure that usually take two and a half to three hours. This short guide is designed to give you a first look at what to expect during your mastectomy in Zurich. Please note that this information isn’t a substitute for a personal consultation at my clinic—in order to tailor your mastectomy to you and your individual needs, it’s very important for me to meet you, learn about your individual motivations for seeking a mastectomy, and give you detailed information as well as a thorough physical examination.

Goals of mastectomy

The goal of a mastectomy is to give you a natural-looking, masculine chest, while leaving the smallest, most inconspicuous scars possible. Maintaining feeling in the nipples is important as well. Though complications can never be entirely ruled out with any procedure, I place great importance on selecting techniques that are low-risk and minimize pain.

What happens during a mastectomy?

A mastectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the mammary glands completely, in order to make the patient’s chest smaller and give it a masculine shape. This also includes pulling the skin on the chest taut. To create more harmonious results, I reduce patients‘ areolae to around 2.5 cm in diameter, to match the contours of their new torso. Most patients also require liposuction to smooth out the fat deposits around the periphery of the glands.

Mastectomy incision options

The best mastectomy incision pathway mainly depends on the size of the patient’s breasts. With smaller breasts, we usually do a periareolar incision, which means around the areola. Since those incisions are made along the border between skin of two different colors (the areola and the surrounding skin), some patients have no visible scarring once the treatment area has healed. With larger breasts, on the other hand, removing the mammary glands generally requires a longer incision. Repositioning of the nipples is often required as well, along with reduction in some cases. As a result, the operation may leave larger scars that may or may not remain visible depending on the person’s individual healing progress.

Your mastectomy in Zurich: an overview

1. Before your operation, you will sit down with the anesthesiologist for a consultation on general anesthesia.

2. You will need to be at the hospital either the day before or two hours before surgery (depending on the hospital).

3. The mastectomy will take 2.5 to 3 hours.

4. The Limmatklinik / Zuger Kantonsspital nursing staff and pain therapists will care for you after your operation.

What side effects and complications are possible?

Mastectomy patients often experience post-operative swelling and redness; these are normal and generally no cause for concern, and should go away within a short period of time. Over-the-counter medication can help manage pain. Any numbness in the chest area generally goes away after between one and six months, though patients whose nipples require repositioning may have limited sensitivity for up to two years. Scarring is different from patient to patient, but many people find their scars are barely visible over time.

Asymmetrical results can never be ruled out entirely, since the left and right sides of the human body aren’t a hundred percent identical. If you aren’t satisfied with the results of your mastectomy, we can discuss corrective procedures. In rare cases, patients may experience bleeding, impaired healing, or infections following a mastectomy. Circulatory problems in the nipples are extremely rare and nearly always temporary.